habits that cultivate creativity

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Here are 7 ways to have fun with your writing. Explore the reaches of your creativity and never suffer from writer’s block again.

7 habits that cultivate creativity

1. Plan artist dates

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is like a 12 Step program for creatively traumatized and repressed artists. Part of her plan is to book an artist date once a week with yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything to do with writing. In fact, it’s better if it isn’t related.

Go out and do something you’ve never done before. And outdoor adventure, a cooking class, a window-shopping trip, or a performance. Let your subconscious absorb and play with new sensations, experiences, and ideas.

2. Explore different genres

Writing outside of your genre can help you get out of a writing rut. Since it’s not what you’re supposed to be good at, you can detach from your expectations and feel free to experiment. Take it as far as you want to go. Get as silly, raunchy, gutsy, or gross as you can. You may be surprised to discover tools and techniques you can apply to your usual genre that you never knew existed within you.

3. Read and watch funny stuff

When was the last time you laughed out loud? I’m talking about unbridled laughter with your belly burning and tears streaming down your cheeks. Laughter is not only good for the soul, but it’s also great for creativity and productivity too. A sense of play is the key to high performance. When we turn writing into a game, it becomes fun instead of tedious. It’s soil for new ideas. We tend to be less critical and balky and more receptive and innovative. Get stupid, really stupid. Let loose and then go back to your work. See if you shook something loose.

4. Process, not outcome­

If we’re perpetually focused on the end result, all the steps between us and our goals will seem overwhelming, if not impossible. Don’t obsess over the four novels you want to write or the twenty short stories you want to publish or the agent you need to win over, or the readership you need to build to get to the bestsellers list. What’s the next small step you can take today? How can you enjoy that step?

5. Invest in others

Self-centeredness makes our struggles seem bigger. Once good way to flip your switch from worry-mode is to shift your attention to others. Who is doing some great writing? What have your friends been working on? How can you support another struggling writer? Share someone’s book with your following. Post encouraging comments on other writers’ social media. Leave a thoughtful review for a book you really admired.

6. Give yourself permission

How often do you allow yourself to have fun creatively? Is it all word counts and structure? Performing personality analyses of your characters? Is it striving for perfection and not accepting anything less from yourself than the next Pulitzer Prize winner?

Remember, again, when you were a kid hanging out with your imaginary friends. Get back to creating for the sake of creating. Relax and let your intuition take over. Genius is birthed serendipitously. Let go of what you think you should do and just be a curious child open to the possibilities.

7. Chat with other writers and creatives

I used to think I was anti-social, but it turns out, I just wasn’t inspired by the people I was around—a default combination acquaintances, spouse’s friends, and people from work. They were wonderful people, but not creative people. That is why I founded the Writers’ Mastermind. I formed my own coven of writers where we have amazing discussions that light us up. Our meetings create a synergy that inspires, comforts, and informs our lives and our writing.

Do you have a circle of writing friends? Is there a local writing group you could join? If not, create one, or join on online community like The Writers’ Mastermind. There is nothing more fun and restorative to your creativity than having conversations that matter with people who care about writing as much as you do.

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